Canada beats South Africa 3-0
Christine Sinclair scored twice in the second half on Saturday to help give Canada a 3-0 win over South Africa in the women’s Olympic football tournament.
Sinclair netted in the 58th and 86th minutes at the City of Coventry Stadium after Melissa Tancredi had opened the scoring in the seventh.
The result boosted Canada’s hopes of advancing as it sits third in Group F with three points, one point behind both Japan and Sweden. The two best third-place teams advance to the quarter-finals along with the top two teams in each group.
South Africa has zero points after losing its first two games and faces world champion Japan in its last game. Canada plays Sweden.
“It’s always great to get the win,” Canada midfielder Desiree Scott said. “South Africa came out and gave us a battle at times but we scored some great goals. Now we need to step it up another notch and get a result.”
Canada took the lead when Tancredi slotted the ball past South Africa keeper Thokozile Mdaweni for her second goal of the tournament.
Tancredi could have netted another in the 12th but headed wide of the goal from close range.
South Africa’s best chance of the first half came in the 22nd when Andisiewe Mgcoyi’s close-range shot forced a save from Karina LeBlanc in the Canadian goal.
Canada kept pressuring in the second half and Mdaweni made a good save in the 55th to prevent Sinclair from scoring. She couldn’t be denied for long, though, and the Canada captain doubled her team’s lead three minutes later with a powerful header.
Diana Matheson was unlucky not to increase their advantage when her long-range effort thundered against the cross bar, before Sinclair sealed the win with four minutes left.
South Africa coach Mkhonza Mkhonzana said his players have been to overwhelmed by playing at the Olympics.
“The stage is too big for us,” he said. “We make mistakes in crucial areas and got punished and when the other team makes mistakes in the same areas we don’t punish them.”